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Another Chargeback Farce.

     
4:21 pm on Apr 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

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hi - someone (in UK) ordered 500 of goods from our website - we shipped via courier to their p/pal verified address & they received/signed as confirmed by the tracking data.

less than an hour after receiving the goods a p/pal dispute was filed citing an unauthorized transaction.
p/pal then held our money for the mandatory 10 days but found in our favor & made the required credit.
however, less than 2 days later they reversed the credit stating that the buyer made a CC c/back & that our money could be held for up to 75 days.

to date we've never had a c/back go in our favor.
also correct me if i'm wrong but it seems that one can simply order something online then tell the CC company you did not authorize payment & hey presto its Christmas time again in scammerville.

anyone experience of similar or suggestions as to how we can backup our case as we are expecting the worst(again).

cheers.
5:00 pm on Apr 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

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If you have evidence of delivery have a word with PC Plod and don't let them try massage the crime statistics by claiming that it is a civil matter.
5:08 pm on Apr 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

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it seems that one can simply order something online then tell the CC company you did not authorize payment & hey presto its Christmas time again in scammerville.

Yep. Since you have a signed delivery receipt, you might have a good chance if you were dealing directly with a CC company. But since PayPal is in the middle...

I would try contacting the buyer and notify him that you intend to file a police report if the matter is not dropped immediately and that he sends proof that he has cancelled the dispute with his credit card company.

No- forget that. File the police report any way. Then inform the person that you have filed a police report.
5:23 pm on Apr 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

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cheers piakow - already tried on previous - they won't entertain - as you state "a civil matter".
6:48 pm on Apr 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

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File the police report any way. Then inform the person that you have filed a police report.


the police don't want to know.

has anyone used a debt collector or the small claims court with any success?
3:06 am on Apr 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Remember, the chargeback rules and disputes are the credit card companies rules, which are not always the same as legal debt collection rights.

As a merchant you have the right to collect debt even if you lose a chargeback, and even if you did not follow credit card transaction procedures properly.

The transaction is ultimately between you and the customer, the credit card is just a third party middleman.
9:29 am on Apr 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

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You are in the UK so you local police attitude sounds line a good "broken Britain" story for the Mail.
4:03 pm on Apr 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Ask the police if someone came into your shop and walked off with 500 pounds of merchandise without paying- would they would still consider it a "civil matter?" If they say no, then push them to explain what the difference is (none in my mind).
12:07 am on Apr 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Ask the police if someone came into your shop and walked off with 500 pounds of merchandise without paying- would they would still consider it a "civil matter?" If they say no, then push them to explain what the difference is (none in my mind).


problem is the CC companies & the police don't care - period.

the thieves know this & so they just continue on blessed with the knowledge that no punishment will be forthcoming.

fact is that theft of this kind is really no longer regarded as a crime in the uk.

CC companies should be made legally accountable by supplying the relevant information upon which the final chargeback decision was made.
as it stands they are presently obliged to tell you absolutely nothing.





9:42 am on Apr 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

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you could argue that it's not the credit card company's job to ascertain blame. they aren't the police. what we've got here is the police trying to dump their job onto the credit card company to sort out. you can't blame them if they just reverse the money.

this is how they get the crime figures down. everytime they say the crime rate has dropped, remember all the thousands and thousands of crimes that happen every day like this one which they just wash their hands of.
6:21 pm on Apr 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

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you could argue that it's not the credit card company's job to ascertain blame


yes that's the point they don't attribute any blame (ie to the card holder) & the con artists know that.
7:32 pm on Apr 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I get court orders for payments here in Germany all the time. It's a rather straighforward and simple process here and not too much different from the proceedings in the UK. You fill out a form online and send it to the court. You then get a court order for payment. The debtor is notified of the court order and has a limited time to dispute it. If it is not disputed you can then send the bailiff to collect the money. I started about two years ago collecting payments through courts rigorously. My personal experience: 20 percent pay as soon as they get the court order. 1 percent disputes the court order - but recalls the dispute before it goes to court. (So far there has never been an actual court hearing or session.) Another 20 percent pay as soon as the bailiff is knocking at the door. The rest has no money to pay and they have to make a list of all their possesions so I can check if there is anything worth to seize and auction off. And their names are registered at the court in a public list of debtors - so other merchants using any form of credit checks are safe.

However once I have a court order for payment the statute of limitations for the invoice is 30 years under german law and I plan to send the bailiff about every three years to try collect the money + interest. And if only to anoy those people.

So far it has paid off.

I get about two court orders for payments per month. When my business grew to a size where chargebacks or returned direct debits got more frequent I bought a book about small claims law here in Germany so I could fill out all the forms myself and wouldn't need a lawyer. Court fees are modest, too - start at 23 EUR here. Today the process is even simpler. I simply fill in the forms online and send them with a click of my mouse.

I think the proceedings in the UK are not that much different. Check out this website for more information:

[hmcourts-service.gov.uk...]

Or here:
[adviceguide.org.uk...]

And after you have done so you can make your claim online here:

[hmcourts-service.gov.uk...]

According to this document the fee for a 500 claim is 45 (35 pounds if you use the online form to file your claim):

[hmcourts-service.gov.uk...]

I certainly would not let someone get away with 500 so easily. If you feel uncomfortable about making the claim yourself, invest some money in a book about small claims or in a lawyer for advice. If you let a lawyer make the claim for you, see that you get a copy of all the paperwork so you can do it yourself next time. Also you should be aware that usually certain conditions have to be fullfilled before you can take your case to court. For example here in Germany the claim has to be due for payment and you usually have to send at least one payment reminder.

In my opinion today: Making yourself familiar with the small claims procedures in your jurisdiction is one of the first things you should do if you start a business.

I started my business about 8 years ago and I have lost thousands of Euros because I was stupid enough to listen to all the people on online forums who said collecting small claims was not worth it and just throwing good money after bad and a waste of time.

In most countries collecting small claims is easy and it's cheap - when you know how the system works.

Collecting money internationally - you are in country A, debtor is in country B - is a different story however and so far I have not tried that. But if both parties are in the EU there is a new small claims procedure since 2009 for claims not exceeding 2000 EUR.

[europa.eu...]

I have read somewhere that the costs are between 15 and 200 EUR but can't remember where. Since I had no EU debtors in the last month I don't know the details of the proceedings yet. But I bet I will have to find out in the next few month. Since 30% of our customers are in other European Union countries it's only a matter of time.

On a personal note... I have found that filling in court papers and especially sending out the bailiff can be quite a satisfying experience. Even if I do not get the money in the end: To get a call from the bailiff that the debtor has not appeared to the appointment where he has to make an inventory of all his possesions and the bailiff has now applied for an arrest warrent to arrest the debtor to force him to disclose all his valuables - (or the fact he has none) is worth the money and the effort.
11:45 pm on Apr 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I get court orders for payments here in Germany all the time. It's a rather straighforward and simple process here and not too much different from the proceedings in the UK.


jecasc - i obliged for that information - i was considering either a debt collector or the "small claims court" as it is called in the UK - i've never used either before.

the present 500 chargeback in question is one of many that i have sustained over the years without pursuance.
i'm going to send a letter requesting that my goods are returned & if no response, then i will send a second letter informing that i have initiated court proceedings.

the money is now of secondary importance & i don't care if it costs me to pursue the matter.

thanks again.
8:42 am on Apr 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

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the present 500 chargeback in question is one of many that i have sustained over the years without pursuance.


If you expect to have chargebacks in the future it is definetly worth the effort to learn how to collect small claims through the courts yourself in my opinion. If you have done it once it requires very little time and effort since all you have to do the second time is to fill in different names and amounts.

Before I looked into the process I always thought that I had to actually personally appear in court and was afraid of the cost to travel several hundred kilometres for a 50 EUR claim or pay a lawyer. I was stunned when it turned out it was only about filling out some forms and pay a few surprisingly low fees and after dozens of small claims cases not a single one went to an actual court hearing. And even if the claim is disputed this does not actually mean you have to appear in a court room, since normally those cases are dealt with and decided on paper.

On second thought however not surprising: I can easily proof that I have a claim. I have the order and a signature that they have received the goods. The debtors have to proof they have paid or have returned the goods - but how can they if they have not. So very few even try to dispute the court order.

Things are of course more difficult to proof if you sell virtual goods.
1:42 pm on Apr 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

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i've just discovered something that may or may not be relevant to my cause.

1) the verified PP address was given specifically as a single house number eg "67 whatever street" yet there are 4 separate flats at that address as confirmed by royal mail.

the goods were posted to that single address as verified by PP.

2) the street name was "cleverly" misspelled eg 67 whatever st instead of 67 whoever st.

question is would i now have any kick with PP or the CC company regarding those discrepancies?

otherwise i think i might be snookered regarding any legal proceedings as i don't have a specific contact address.
2:17 pm on Apr 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Are you sure it wasn't deleivered to the wrong address?
5:09 pm on Apr 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Are you sure it wasn't deleivered to the wrong address?


problem is i don't known - we sent 2 separate orders to the PayPal verified address that was just a "single house number" but i've since discovered there are actually 4 flats at that number.
5:21 pm on Apr 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

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If that be the case I would really look at that because it does sound like they never got the product. This would explain why Ebay changed and redid the chargeback.

How was it shipped? I would call the carrier and have a trace put down on it.

Sounds like it wasn't ever gotten by the customer.
6:23 pm on Apr 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

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How was it shipped? I would call the carrier and have a trace put down on it.


the point i'm trying to make now is that the goods were shipped to the address supplied by PP - the buyer would have given this info from his CC when he applied for a PP account - there was no flat number given.

the goods were tracked to the address but what flat?

question is if i live in flat 2, second floor, 36 pine street is it valid just to have 36 pine street as my card address?
3:19 pm on Apr 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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If that be the case I would really look at that because it does sound like they never got the product. This would explain why Ebay changed and redid the chargeback.


less than an hour after receiving the goods a p/pal dispute was filed citing an unauthorized transaction.


Still smells like week old fish to me...
3:45 pm on Apr 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Just to try and add to the business of the court proceedings, i've done it, and it does take time, however, if you're being duped, you'll win. You must gather all the evidence, fill in the claims form and send of the money.

It could take up to eighteen months to see any money, as it did in one case, but, I got there in the end. That individual has a black mark against their account. I have no feelings, good or bad, however, justice prevailed.

Just make sure you have as much detail as possible in writing and document all dates and times. You won't remember the events some time down the line.

Go for it!
5:36 pm on Apr 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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question is if i live in flat 2, second floor, 36 pine street is it valid just to have 36 pine street as my card address


My understanding is no, the address check is done on the numerical part of the address and therefore if the card was registered to flat 2 36 pine street, then the address would not match on just 36 pine street.

However if he has registered his card to just 36 pine street, then he can presumably receive post there. Which raises the question: where are the 500 pounds worth of product that you shipped to him?
6:18 pm on Apr 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Someone at 36 Pine Street knows where the goods are. Perhaps start with registered letters on a law firm's letterhead to all four flats, asking if anyone in that flat happened to have signed for a missing delivery? At the very least that would embarrass the scammer, as it will alert the neighbours!
6:22 pm on Apr 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Better yet would be if you could post a note in a public area there warning the neighbors about an increase in theft in the neighborhood, but assuring them that the police have been notified and are investigating.
11:09 pm on Apr 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Someone at 36 Pine Street knows where the goods are. Perhaps start with registered letters on a law firm's letterhead to all four flats


the problem is trying to identify the "buyer's" actual flat number.

the idea of a registered letter to each flat is a good idea as i might get a positive signature & hence the flat number.

i'm wondering if it would be a good idea to use the buyer's name on each letter? - i suspect this guy is up to every move in the book.

Paypal say that i might, even if the chargeback goes against me, still be protected by their "seller protection policy" - however i'm not going to hold my breath on that one.
7:04 am on Apr 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Why do you think the buyer has a flat number? I live in a flat, I do not have a flat number, I have my name on the doorbell and on my mailbox like anyone else in the building.

If there was no name on the doorbell the parcel service would not have delivered the parcel but would have returned it. If there is more than one party in a building they do not simply ring at random doors if they can't locate the recipient.

Assume the customer has received the parcel, so send a polite payment reminder, and wait for an reaction.

The normal thing people do when they do not receive a parcel is they send an email first, not issue a chargeback.

And if in doubt, get delivery confirmation from the parcel service.

Why this sudden insecurity? You have received and shipped an order, you have sent to the address indicated you did not get your money. So don't invent reasons why perhaps it is your fault that you did not get the money. Go for your money.
9:13 pm on Apr 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Starting to like the idea of just doing in person cash sales someday.
9:25 pm on Apr 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Why this sudden insecurity? ........So don't invent reasons why perhaps it is your fault


you're not a psychiatrist by any chance?

anyway thanks for informing me that "an actual flat number" is not required - however, the royal mail address database might suggest otherwise?

one further point - i have since discovered that the member of staff who processed the courier dispatch labels for both orders ignored the exact address details given by the database (ie flat number) because she thought the ebay/PP verified address "had to be used" - dare say the matter in question might not have arisen had the address details been queried.

thanks to all for the input - kindly appreciated & extremely helpful.
10:18 am on Apr 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I always thought that if you deliver to the Cardholder address and have proof of that, you are protected against Chargebacks via the CC company.
11:48 am on Apr 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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In my category any item I send that is US$50 or over requires a signature on delivery. Failing receipt of same the item is returned to me. (Not home, notice left to customer to pick up at local post office/delivery...and still must sign, or is returned within a week or so time) If I have a signature no charge back has ever succeeded if the address is correct. Costs more to me, of course, but in the long run that extra has paid off.

That said, I ship only to US and Canada. Not sure how that might work in other countries. (I got burned by a Dane once and once was enough to cool any ambitions to deal with any EU country)
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